Stages of Push/Pull Practice
How to Integrate Pushing and Pulling Chi into Dragon & Tiger
The pushing and pulling energy exercises that we do in each workshop and review in each of the practice tips are what we call supplementary exercises.
When you can easily do these exercises pushing and pulling at the skin level with all the different hand forms (i.e. open palm, open fingers, open fingers and palm, beak hand, and sword hand), then and only then do we recommend that you begin to incorporate pushing and pulling at the skin level into the seven D&T movements.
Until then we recommend that your energy focus during the seven D&T movements be on trying to FEEL continuously sensations in your hands, along the energy pathways on your skin, and between your hands and skin. Ideally you should be able to do an entire set of 20 of each movement and continuously maintain all three types of feeling throughout.
Five Stages of Practice
There are five stages you go through as you learn to practice pushing and pulling chi in the supplementary exercises. Develop the ability to do one stage well before proceeding onto the next.
Pull energy into and push energy out of your lao gung deep in the center of your palm through:
First, all the surfaces of your palm;
Then, all of your fingers, including your thumbs;
Then, all the surfaces of your palm and your fingers;
Then, all the surfaces of your palm and your fingers while forming and releasing a beak hand; and
Then, all the surfaces of your palm and fingers while using a sword hand, especially your sword fingers.
Points to Remember
- As you push and pull, you'll "wake up" and move chi along the surfaces with which you are playing. Be sure to push this chi out past the tips of your fingers (or toes, or the top of your head) to let it clear out of your body.
- Relax your awareness and "open your mind" so that you can feel the many different aspects of pushing and pulling simultaneously.
If you try too hard, your mind will narrowly focus, and you'll feel less of the whole of your hand.